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Back to Work, Post-Op

Yesterday was a big day for me.

It was my first day back to work, post-op!

I had stayed home Monday and Tuesday, unsure about if I was allowed to go back to work.  After going back and forth with the doctor’s office on Monday (they were slammed from the holiday weekend), I had enough information to decide to stay home that Tuesday.  I wanted to make sure my pain medication was out of my system.

Monday afternoon, I wrote out lesson plans for a sub and emailed them to my friend, Megan, who is also my department head at school.

She was so efficient that she had the copies made and instructions laid out before the end of the day.  She’s a girl after my own heart! ❤

This extra day off turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I was able to go in for my first post-op appointment, which had been changed from Thursday to Tuesday.  I’ll give you more details on that tomorrow.

When we got home, I began revamping my lesson plans.  Fortunately, I was picking up where I’d left off two weeks prior, so all that was required was copying and pasting into my template and redoing my Smartboard file.  It took a few hours, but when I finished, I had enough to work with for a week and a half.  My plan will be to completely write my lesson plans through the first week of January.

Overachieving is just in my nature, y’all!

I did manage to relax by watching one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time…

I slept fitfully, as I’m prone to do nowadays.  I cannot wait to get back into my bed, but that is still a number of weeks away.  I don’t know if I was nervous about school or what, but I just could not get comfortable.

I woke up on my own at 5am and dozed until about 5:30 before I gave up and sat up to read my First5 devotion.

The poor Mr.  He’s not an early-morning person, but he had set his alarm for 6am, and he groggily got up, let the dogs out to potty, and helped me to the bathroom.  He set out a dining room chair so I could fix my makeup and hair while sitting down.

The Mr. fixed me a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice and a rice cake with almond butter.  I’m not a huge fan of the almond butter, even if I don’t mind it in desserts, but because it has a lot of calcium, I’m trying my best just to eat it and not complain.

I munched on breakfast while I got my face ready to face the public.

It felt good to straighten my hair.  I was pleased with what I saw in the mirror.

Then, he helped me get dressed, although he grumbled as I added jewelry.

He doesn’t do mornings well…or so I told you.

He fixed my lunchbox and got it, my school bag (every teacher has quite a few of these), and my purse out to the car.

His new responsibility…well, one of them…is taking me to school each day.  Because I’ll be relying on the generosity of others to take me home many days, he’s trying to do what he can to offset that.

First, though, I made him take a picture.

I did put on a flip flop when we got to the garage.

I’m desperate to find the black flip flop I’d worn on and off since surgery, but it’s gone missing.  Could you say a prayer that I’ll find it?  This is driving me a little nuts.

Anyhoo, we got to the car, and off we went.

We have not ridden to work together in a long time.  It was nice to be with him a few minutes before the crazy day that I was about to embark on.

As he helped me into school, I saw one of the administrators, and boy, was she unhappy.  She was more than a little upset that I was returning to school.  I must have looked pitiful.  The Mr. echoed her sentiments.  He had wanted me to stay home as well.  We just weren’t sure how this was going to work.

Another gal, Cindy, rounded me up a wheelchair, and off we went to my classroom.  I wish I’d gotten a picture of that, but I think that would have pushed the Mr. over the edge.

He and another teacher got my stuff into my room, and oh my gosh, can I just tell you that walking into that room was an experience somewhat like what I imagine Martha Stuart would have walking into my house.

All I could do was notice how messy it was!

Chairs from the previous day had not been stacked, as I’d taught my 7th period class to do.

Three Chromebooks were missing (we did find them), and magazines and books were scattered.

My heart.

I got so stressed, that I thought I felt my leg throbbing.

It was so bad, and I was beside myself.

I talked myself down and made some plans in my head.

Meanwhile, the Mr. was nervous as he helped me set up what I needed for the day…my chair, my pillow, and my crutches.

He did leave, eventually, and I felt like a new teacher on the first day of my career.

It was overwhelming.

But, I didn’t have long to wallow.  A fellow teacher came into my room with a heartfelt welcome back announcement, and we chatted.

He was followed by two other teachers, one of whom came over and gave me the biggest hug.

Other people stopped by, and boy, did they make me feel like I was home.

Before classes started, I attempted to wheel myself to the bathroom.

Can we talk about wheelchairs?

They are not easy to navigate!  I have a newfound appreciation for the skills of disabled people who play competitive sports in wheelchairs.  What coordination!  Coordination that I discovered I was lacking.


I saw my friend, LeAnne, in the hallway.  She was wheeling a scooter to me.  Perfect timing!  She took over pushing my chair and got me to the bathroom.

Folks, the sign of a good friend is one who will go in the bathroom with you and flush after you go.

I kid you not.

That sweet lady then pushed me back to my room, and we chatted.  She came by during planning period (we have the same one) and got me back to the restroom again.  Love her!

Meanwhile, class was about to begin.

My first period class…can I say how much I love them?  They came in kind of slowly, and we had a chat…how I’d broken my ankle…what I would and wouldn’t be able to do (pretty much nothing but facilitate class)…how I needed them more now than ever.

They stepped up to the plate!  We spent about fifteen minutes cleaning my room.  I was the maestro who conducted their movements.

Then, we got down to the business of education, and they cooperated fully.

I had planning next, so I got to pee and re-group, thank heavens. I snapped this selfie…

Next was my first of two groups of ninth graders.  They are a sweet group…eager to learn.  After giving my story, I let them read silently, and we did class.  What a relief!

Then was lunch, and I’ve gotta tell you that I was hurting and tired by then.  I tried to keep my leg up as much as possible, but it can get really hard.  I had gotten up on my crutches once or twice but had sat down as quickly as I could.  I know that I have to keep the swelling down for healing to happen.

Honestly, though, if I could have gone home at this point, I think I would have.  I heard my recliner calling out its siren song to me.

But I didn’t.

I sucked it up.

During lunch, I went to the restroom on my own.

No.  Easy.  Task.

Opening my heavy classroom door was a nightmare.  I saw one of my students in the hallway and asked her to help me, which she did.  Thank heavens.

Fifth period came in after class, and it was during this class period that I decided that I do not like to teach sitting down.  It’s not who I am.  I am expressive.  I move around a lot.  I get in people’s spaces.  I can see people when I stand and see if they are paying attention.

I am doing the best I can, though.

Then, the class that I knew would be the hardest came in.

I’d been told that they were noisy while I was gone.

Yeah, they came in that way.

They tried to sit in other seats too.

Let’s just say that our beginning chat wasn’t as gracious.  I asked them to not stress me out because I needed to focus on healing my bones, not my stress levels.

The first part of class went o-k-a-y.  Not perfect, by any means. It was challenging, and I was using every bit of patience I could dig up.

By 7th period, I’d had enough of their rude chatter and fussed at them pretty hard.  They were being rude, and I didn’t have time for that.

I reminded them that I was still in charge, even if I was sitting in a chair, and that I was putting their needs above my own.

That settled them a little, and they got a little quiet while they read during silent reading time.

I did get them to put their chairs up and, for the most part, they left my classroom in better shape than what I’d walked into.

The Mr. was able to pick me up after work, and I could have thrown myself into his arms if I hadn’t had the bum ankle and if I thought he would have caught me.

He got me and all of my stuff back to his car, and we proceeded home with me telling him about my day.

I teared up a bit.  I was so tired.

As soon as I could, I climbed into my recliner for a nap.

Rooster called on his way home from work to check on me, and we have a wonderful conversation.  He’s doing well with his training, yay!  He listened patiently to me, and I just enjoyed the sound of his voice.  He’ll be home soon for his wedding.  I cannot wait to hug his sweet neck.

After we hung up, I snuggled into my pillow and got about two hours of a nap in.  I slept better than I had in days.

I woke up to the Mr. coming home from work.

We Face-timed our Rooster’s girl.  It was her birthday.  Such a sweet thing.  We enjoyed seeing her face and Rooster’s as he popped onto the screen.  ❤

Chicky called while the Mr. was getting ready to head out to grab some dinner for us.  She, too, was checking on my first day back.  Gotta love my kids.  They made me feel so special and loved.

Then, I did my thing…ate dinner, got a bath, and caught up on social media.

What can I ultimately say about my day?

It was so much harder to go back than I’d thought.

Thinking about how to do things sitting down was very challenging.  Not being able to run my classroom standing up was frustrating.

Going back did help my day go by faster.  Seeing my students again…most of them…made me happy.  Especially the girl who said she had three questions:

1)  Not a question…just a hug ❤ ❤ <3)
2) Could she sign my cast (no, because I’m keeping it clean for the wedding)
3)  Was I allergic to any foods because she had made a fabulous German Chocolate cake with vanilla icing that kind of fell apart but still tasted delicious.  I hated to tell her that I couldn’t have it because it had eggs and other stuff in it, but I suggested that she Google vegan cakes.  If she made one, I’d eat that.  I don’t know if she’ll follow through, but I loved her for all of her “questions.”  ❤

Each day will present its own challenges.

I think my biggest takeaway from the first day was that I need to take care of ME.  Simply being there and having a plan will be enough for the kids…so much better than a revolving door of substitutes who, though well-meaning, are not me…not trained for my kids’ specific needs…have not built the relationships with them that I have already this year.

Thank you for your words of encouragement and your prayers.  I covet them more now than ever.  I mainly ask for prayers for healing for my bones.  That is my number one priority right now.  Bone health, too, is a concern as I look to supplement my diet with calcium-absorbent foods that I actually like to eat or can tolerate enough to choke down.   Ahem.

Thank you all!!


2 Responses

  1. Well I think I’m caught up now on all your posts, post fall. You definitely need to take care of you but I can understand all your frustrations. I had both my feet in plaster (casts up to my knees) when I was 14. I’d had corrective surgery on bunions. So I could walk on the plaster but had to rely on lifts back and forth to school. (I became very well acquainted with my maths teacher who often took me home in her 3 wheeled car.) But all that pales in comparison with what you are coping with. And you are coping. Most people wouldn’t even think about going back to work yet but I understand financial situations don’t always give you a choice. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. You have a long recovery road ahead of you where the blips may send you backward before you can go forward again. But hey you seem to have it worked out pretty well and have a lot of support around you. Just don’t be backward at asking for help. People like to help and feel useful.

  2. I love that the kid wanted to sign your cast 🙂
    OHHHHH GIRLLLLL… be careful in a flip flop. Those are dangerous shoes anyways. I don’t want to see you fall again with only one good leg!!!

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